26 Aug 2022

Friday 26 August 2022

With more than 200 attendees, including the Headmaster, three Housemasters, dozens of current and former staff, tutors and students, on the 6th of August, St. John’s House celebrated their centenary.

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The festivities began on a crisp but dry winter evening at the entryway to St. John’s House. Welcoming the group, current housemaster, Mr. Wally Rifle, greeted those who gathered to celebrate 100 years of St. John’s house at King’s College.

After a greeting from current Te Reo Māori Language teacher, Mr. Leo Tahitahi, a new Taonga was unveiled with an amazing piece of art created by master carver, Mr. Arama Hamiora-Davis. This piece of detailed and beautiful art will grace the entryway of the house forevermore.

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The brainchild of current housemaster, Mr. Wally Rifle, this carving is part of a new entryway which connects the past, present, and future of St. John’s House and was unveiled by Headmaster, Mr. Simon Lamb. It is a gift from Mr. Rifle for the house and was gratefully received on behalf of the college by Mr. Lamb.

After a performance of the house haka by current students, past students were led through the house to connect with their old rooms and to see the new improvements to several of the wings, look at pictures of past classes, and share stories of the building.

The group walked up the drive to the Chapel to have Rev. Gareth Walters take the entourage through a lovely chapel service. The singing voices of the past and present St. John’s men did not disappoint and filled the building with song.

From there, the group moved into the dining hall, where the MC of the night, Mr. Todd Marsh oversaw the programme. Mr. Rifle introduced the current staff and then there was a greeting from 2022 Head of House, Hugo Caughey who is directly related to the first head of house John Egerton Caughey from 1922. Beyond this address, a series of past students regaled the room with stories of shenanigans all while enjoying the catering of Paul Stanton’s outstanding team.

The series of speakers concluded with the longest-serving housemaster, Mr. Daryl Williams, who gave a recounting of students and staff over his 25 years of service to the community as a house tutor and housemaster. He acknowledged the guidance of past Housemaster, Schalk Van Wyk, and current housemaster, Mr. Wally Rifle and the different tutors, matrons and student leaders who all have contributed to the house over the years. Mr. Rifle wound up the night with an acknowledgement of the many Old Collegians and the Centennial Organizing Committee who put in a tremendous effort to ensure the smooth running of the evening and with that the event concluded with a wonderful night had by all!

Jim Floerchinger

St John’s House Tutor